Kaski, October 3, 2016:Â As the countryâ€™s biggest festival Dashain begins, traders have started shipping mountain goats and sheep in large numbers to Pokharaâ€”a transit point to other cities, including Kathmandu.
They are supplied from Mustang, Dolpa, Humla and Humla districts. Besides, around 25 percent of these animalsÂ are imported from Tibet, theÂ traders said.
Meat of mountain goat, which is reared in the Himalayan region, is very popular among Nepalis as they believe the cold environment makes the meat delicious. The people also think the meat has medicinal values as the animals graze mountain herbs.
Annually, groups of traders travel 2-3 days on foot to bring the animals from Mustang and other mountain districts to Pokhara. They said the demand for mountain goats has increased inÂ other cities like Butwal and Chitwan as well.
â€œWe have our business in Kathmandu, but during Dashain, we shift to the mountain region for the goat business,â€ said Narbu Lama of Humla. â€œItâ€™s difficult to supply goats from the mountain region, but it also yields handsome profits,â€ said Narbu. On Monday, we supplied 250 mountain goats to Pokhara. I have been doing this business for the last four years.â€
Lama had earned a profit of Rs300,000 last season and expects to earn more this Dashain.
Another trader, Guru Lama, has brought 400 mountain goats and sheep to Pokhara. â€œMoney earned during this season sustains us for rest of the year,â€ he said. â€œAlthough there are difficulties in this business, it gives us good returns.â€
Every year, traders set up a temporary goat selling centre at Tundikhel and Hemja in Pokhara. People from Pokhara and surrounding districts buy goats from the centre, which also supplies the animals to Kathmandu and other cities.
Another trader Pasang Lama said a healthy mountain goat fetches around Rs25,000. Traders said they have to pay Rs15 as tax to the Livestock Service Office in Mustang and another Rs30 is charged by Tatopani in Myagdi district. During Dashain, nearly 30,000 mountain goats and sheep are sold in Pokhara.
ByÂ Birendra KC